Mini Smiles offers a comprehensive range of dental care from infancy through adolescence to help your child maintain optimal oral health and wellness. To help you and your family understand your treatment options, we’ve included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.
We offer many important services for our special needs and pediatric patients.
Age One Dental Service
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first checkup should occur by age 1. At this important visit, we will check the baby teeth for early cavities, show you how to care for a young child’s mouth properly, go over your child’s developmental milestones, and discuss the importance of good oral hygiene.
Preventive dentistry is the area of dentistry that focuses on those procedures and life practices that help people to prevent the beginning or progression of oral disease. It includes at-home dental care performed by patients, as well as dental care and education by professional dental staff in the office setting.
Fillings are used to seal a small hole (cavity) in your tooth that is caused by decay. This simple procedure prevents decay bacteria from spreading further into your tooth and possibly infecting the root canal. Both metal fillings and tooth-colored fillings are available.
The first step to a dental filling is to make sure that your child is comfortable throughout the entire procedure. Some cavities are small enough that local anesthesia is not necessary. However, if numbing is required, the dentist will administer local anesthesia. Once numb, the dentist will remove the portion of the tooth that was damaged by decay. Tooth-colored fillings are available.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occur on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves. Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure.
Children With Special Needs
Proper dental care is just as important for children with special needs as it is for any child. Yet it’s sometimes more difficult for kids with special needs to get optimal care. We can help, with appropriate procedures and extra personal attention in the office.
If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, a “space maintainer” may be needed to hold the space open until the permanent tooth comes in to fill it. This appliance will help your child’s bite develop properly and hopefully avoid the need for braces later on.
Crowns are coverings placed over damaged teeth to strengthen them and allow them to look and function normally again. Metal crowns are sometimes recommended as a temporary solution for damaged baby teeth until the permanent teeth come in.
When a tooth’s structure has been compromised due to injury or severe decay, a dental crown often is necessary. Crowns protect and support the remaining tooth structure after decay has been removed or after a pulpotomy has been performed.
Fluoridated water has been called one of the most significant health achievements of the 20th century — but not every child gets enough fluoride. This is one reason that a topical fluoride supplement applied in the dental office may be recommended for your child.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.
In some cases, it is best to complete extensive dental treatment under general anesthesia. The general sedation will be performed in a hospital setting under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.
An extraction is the removal of a tooth. A tooth may need to be extracted for a number of different reasons such as extensive decay, infections, crowding, and in cases when baby teeth fail to fall out on their own.
Besides being painful, a child’s sports-related dental injury can mean time lost from school and work, plus substantial cost. A properly fitted, comfortable mouthguard, worn at practice and games, can greatly reduce the likelihood of serious dental injury.
Emergency Dental Treatment
If you have a life-threatening or severe injury, call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room. We can treat a variety of traumatic dental injuries, including teeth that have been chipped, moved, or knocked out entirely. Please call our office for assistance.
IV Sedation Dentistry
IV sedation dentistry can be of great benefit to children and teenagers who would otherwise be anxious and fearful during dental treatment. With local anesthetics and sedative medications, it’s possible for your child to have a dental experience that’s free of anxiety and pain. The IV sedation procedure will be performed in the dental office setting under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.
Nitrous Oxide is also known as laughing gas is used to help anxious patients feel more at ease during their treatment.